Games between Kings XI Punjab and the Chennai Super Kings of the past have epitomized the motto of the VIVO Indian Premier League ‘Yatra Pratibha Avsara Prapnotihi’ which translates to ‘Where Talent meets Opportunity.’ Clashes between these two sides have unearthed some of the finest young talents in the game, or served as the perfect podium for veterans to reinvigorate their careers.
The two teams have faced off 21 times in the Indian Premier League in the past, with Kings XI Punjab coming off as the victors on nine occasions; and these players have been central to some of those victories for the team from the North.
Valthaty’s golden hour
Back in 2011, opening batsman Paul Valthaty was a largely unheralded figure on the Indian cricket scene. But that changed after a spellbinding performance against the Chennai Super Kings at Mohali.
Chasing a mammoth target of 189, KXIP needed one of their big players like Adam Gilchrist or Shaun Marsh to play a big innings, but both of them fell cheaply. Valthaty however took it upon himself to take the team through, scoring boundaries at will. Playing some good cricketing shots without going gung-ho, Valthaty ensured the asking rate never got out of hand.
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His stellar batting ensured that the hosts chased down the target with five balls to spare, with Valthaty ending with an unbeaten 120. His knock included 19 fours and two sixes, making light work of the likes of Tim Southee, Albie Morkel and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Sehwag’s semi-final blitz
In the second qualifier game of 2014, Virender Sehwag obliterated the Chennai Super Kings’ bowling attack, guiding the Shers to their first ever final. Sehwag slammed 122 off just 58 balls, which remains to date the highest score in a qualifier game of the IPL.
Opening the innings with Manan Vohra, the former Indian opener took the likes of Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma and Ashwin to the cleaners, slamming 70 runs after the powerplay overs. His aggression showed no signs of slowing down, as he got to a century off just 50 balls. Sehwag’s knock helped KXIP get to their second highest score that season, ending on 226 and getting a convincing 24 run victory.
In his debut season for KXIP, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was a revelation with the bat, scoring 552 runs at a healthy average of 34.50. One of his finest performances that season came against the Chennai Super Kings at Abu Dhabi.
Chasing a daunting score of 206, KXIP were in a spot of bother after losing three wickets in the powerplay with just over 50 runs on the board. Glenn Maxwell and David Miller however changed the course of the game, as they stitched together a 115 run partnership to get their fans dreaming again.
Playing some of his trademark sweeps and cuts, Maxwell kept the asking rate always under control. Despite scoring at a strike rate in excess of 220, the Australian batsman had just two sixes to his names, showing the importance of good cricketing shots in a T20 game. Maxwell was dismissed for 95 in the 16th over, but his scintillating knock ensured that his team got over the line with an over to spare.
Barring these three, the likes of KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Praveen Kumar and many others have had match winning contributions against the Chennai Super Kings in the past.
What has been your favourite KXIP moment against CSK? Do let us know in the comments below...